Nordstrom Profits Grow in Flat Retail Environment

Aug 15, 2002

Nordstrom profit grew by 18.4 percent last quarter, The Seattle Times reports. Sales for the quarter at stores open at least a year grew 2.2 percent since a year ago. The company’s success is notable given economic conditions, analysts say. They attributed the improvements to a better selection of merchandise, particularly in women’s clothes and accessories, and the introduction of a more sophisticated inventory-tracking system.

Thanks in part to its annual anniversary sale, the company posted sales growth in July, when nationwide consumer spending on clothing was in the negative column. For the first time in nearly two years, Nordstrom saw sales increase in three consecutive months.

More in-store promotion, better stocking and more national brands pushed same-store sales at Nordstrom Rack, the chain’s 47 off-price stores, up 8.7 percent from a year earlier, according to Nordstrom’s president Blake Nordstrom.

Moderator Comment: Has Nordstrom’s reversed its fortunes? What are the keys for the chain to continue building on its recent success?

It appears as though IT investments have helped Nordstrom’s regain its ability to better serve the needs of its consumers. Service and selection built the company. Attention to the details in those areas will determine how well the chain does in the future. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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